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About twofires

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  1. Weakest Link(s) in the Audio Chain?

    You and me both. They'd unveil some dull boxy thing and I'd be like "oh... could I hear the Sonus Fabers again?"
  2. Weakest Link(s) in the Audio Chain?

    This reminds me of a guy I used to work with at a post production company back when they still did television commercials (TVCs). His name was Matty, and he was a compositor - specifically an FFI Operator (Autodesk's Flint, Flame, Inferno series of uber-expensive compositing systems). An FFI Op would sit behind two big Eizo 10bit monitors on a raised platform and scratch away on an A3-sized Wacom tablet, while down in a sort of pit with couches and a bar fridge Ad Agency producers would swig Sanpellegrino (or Heineken as time wore on) and stare up at large TVs, commenting occasionally on the compositing work mirrored there. This was, ostensibly, to keep the TVC on track, make sure it fulfilled the client's requirements, and so forth. Occasionally, however, you'd get a meddler - an agency producer who, out of a need to assert themselves, or express some unfulfilled creative urge, or compensate for a deficiency in the TVC concept, or whatever, would insist on micromanaging the compositing process. "I feel like the logo needs to pop more. Can we soften those highlights? Everything's a bit too magenta. Can we shift this whole shot two frames? I think we need 5% more contrast here." And on and on, sometimes for hours, some half-pissed hack telling a professional with decades of experience that people wouldn't think the cheese sticks were sexy enough if the branding wasn't 5 pixels to the left. So Matty developed a strategy for when it got too much. He'd fiddle for a bit, and then A/B the result, with a few frames of black between. "Here's the old version. And now, here's +5% contrast". "Ah, much better! Perfect! We've nailed it!" They'd say. Of course, he'd done nothing. The comparison was A/A. But they were happy seeing what they wanted to see, and the TVC was approved. Everyone finished their takeaway Pad Thai, and went home. I always try to remember this when I'm convinced I can perceive the near-imperceptible.
  3. Weakest Link(s) in the Audio Chain?

    What's really needed is a service that comes to your house, blindfolds you, and plays you your music, in your room, within a budget that you specify. At the end you hand over your money, and you get the system you chose. The issue is that you don't stay blindfolded. I'd be curious as to whether there's a correlation between box-swapping behaviour and psychosomatic influence.
  4. Weakest Link(s) in the Audio Chain?

    I feel like there is a subset of "the listener" that makes a substantial contribution beyond the physiological - context/frame of mind/psychosomatic issues. People can convince themselves they are paralysed when there is nothing physically wrong with them - so I don't think it's that much of a stretch to say that people can perceive artifacts in the reproduction of auditory stimuli that do not, objectively, exist. That's not to say that there is no difference between products, but rather that there isn't always as big a difference as we might imagine. It's very easy to get a bee in our bonnet about something, and only feel that the problem is solved when we've thrown a sufficient amount of cash at it. Cognitive dissonance - if you spend $4k on a power conditioner, you're motivated to assume that's solved a problem. The alternative is that you're a sucker who threw away $4k - and nobody likes to imagine themselves a sucker. Having said all this, I'm not free from the influence of psychological factors myself. I can't afford a $4k power conditioner, so I'm motivated to assume it is unnecessary. These are the kind of confounding variables that make conversations about qualia so messy. In summary, there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. Or, to paraphrase George R. R. Martin, a madman hears what he hears.
  5. Oppo Uhd 4K Player

    Makes sense - wasn't sure if Oppo would engage in the sort of grey area tech that a movie company like Sony clearly wouldn't. Wishful thinking on my part - Oppo are doubtless too big to get away with that kind of thing. I own an HD Fury (speaking of grey area tech), but don't like kludging it into my system if I can avoid it. More bloody cables and power supplies. I suppose the question now becomes, is the DAC in the 203 "good enough" for me? The Rotel (RA-1592) is also an AKM, so, maybe? *shrug*
  6. Oppo Uhd 4K Player

    Bit of an odd question for 203 owners - does it output 96kHz PCM from something like a pure audio bluray disc via the optical or coax out, or is it limited to 48kHz on non-DRM protected digital outputs like the Sony UBP-X800 is? Basically I'd like to use the 203 as a transport, sending higher than 48kHz audio data (from physical media and files) to the DAC in my Rotel integrated. I'm wondering if it's possible. If not, I'm thinking the better DAC in the 205 might be worth it (using the analogue outputs).
  7. FS: Sony ubp-x800 UHD player

    Assuming this is long gone? Would be interested if not.
  8. My copy of this belonged to my parents, and is so worn out it sounds like someone's poured icing sugar into the sleeve. If anyone can point me at a clean copy, I'd say "ta very much". On the subject of the thread, I'd have to say Heart - Dreamboat Annie. My CD copy is waaay too hot, and other digital copies haven't been much better. Anyone know if vinyl is an improvement? I'd like to listen to Crazy On You without my tweeters igniting. Oh, and on the subject of vinyl, I found Iron Maiden's Piece of Mind (recent pressing, not sure exactly when) likes my Audio Technica cart. Fairly crankable.
  9. Worlds Ugliest Hi Fi

    With regard to the Hansens...
  10. The 'Hifi gear in movies' thread....

    Yup. https://medium.com/@StereoStylist/netflix-s-daredevil-kingpin-aka-wilson-fisk-e8ce75ea2c99
  11. New XBox one x

    Other things I have learned this evening; the Xbox One X also refuses to play 4k bluray at 4k on non-HDR10 TVs (like my Samsung UA55HU8500W). In other words, it doesn't convert to SDR. Score two for Oppo. It gets worse. The problem with the Pure Audio BD wasn't that the Xbox can't play 96kHz - it's that it can't output ANY PCM other than 48kHz. I know this because I threw a regular CD in and the PCM stream it sent to my DAC was still 48kHz (same CD in my old BD player comes up 44.1 as it should). What the Xbox is doing is like Directsound on a PC - converting everything into whatever the system output is configured to. And unlike a PC, you can't reconfigure it, or choose ASIO or WASAPI. 48kHz is all there is. So far, it's not doing much that I wanted it to do.
  12. New XBox one x

    So, in answer to the question "will the Xbox One X pass 96/24 PCM audio from a High Fidelity Pure Audio Bluray copy of Amy Winehouse's Back To Black through to an external DAC via optical?", the Xbox says... "Nooo, no, no". 48kHz only. Hmmm. Oppo alternative it ain't.